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Trader Profile – Pieter du Plessis

What was once an ‘on and off’ relationship with trading, Pieter’s journey to successful trader started by watching YouTube videos that eventually led him to Trade View.

A programming background proved beneficial at first, but things started to turn for him once he picked up some simple words from Trade View, ‘calm down’.

That led him to stop searching for the ‘perfect strategy’ and to simplify his trading, crediting his biggest success to being able to build a small group of strategies that run well together.

Introduction

I’ve had an on and off relationship with trading over the years. I started out with an Actuarial Science career which then lead me into a software development career in the retirement funds industry. Over the years my focus was on monitoring and tracking the pension fund investments of our clients.

Five years ago I got the opportunity to sell my shares in the business to my business partner at the time and then invested the proceeds of the sale with investment managers. These managers unfortunately didn’t give me the returns that I was hoping for and after some chats with friends who do trader professionally I decided to look at trading the investments myself.

Brief background about your trading

In 2017 I started my journey into trading like many others by watching YouTube videos and also going through a few online courses. This lead to great joy and also lots of confusion as I felt that I was “getting” this trading thing.

Being able to program I quickly taught myself how to program MetaTrader 4 and was able to backtest strategies that I picked up from YouTube. Unfortunately none of these strategies seemed to work when I backtested them over extended periods of time. I was to later find out that most strategies on the internet have just been over-optimised for the period they want you to see.

Then I came across some old webinars of Trade View and I was able to duplicate some of their strategies and results. This was when I started to find more consistency in my strategy development.

I later signed up to Trade View to get access to their Trading Talk series of videos and also got access to EA Lab to build strategies.

What you learnt at Trade View?

Starting out from scratch I found that I actually didn’t know what a decent strategy looked like once it ran on a real account. I found that it is too easy to overfit a strategy on some past data and then come up with a “perfect strategy”. The problem is that these always fall apart when you run them on new unseen data going forward.

Trade View has helped me “calm down” with overfitting and they’ve shown me that it is always better to rather understand the market before coming up with a strategy for it.

Please share some of your successes and failures while learning to trade…

I always thought that the aim of trading was to find one strategy that I could run on a currency and just print money after that.

Over the last year I’ve learnt why it is important to have a group of complimentary strategies running as a portfolio.

My biggest success so far has been to build a small group of strategies that all run together and slowly trade for me as a portfolio on real money.

It hasn’t been easy and I’ve also learnt what it feels like to go through a drawdown period. It’s very different seeing a drawdown on a chart to actually experiencing one. This is where having gone through the process a couple of times has helped me have faith to know that the strategies do and will work.

Conclusion: What are your future goals?

Having some models running has helped me see some of their shortcomings. My goal at this stage is to plug some of these gaps with new models and then to expand my list running of strategies.  

 

 

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